Tour du Mont Blanc 2022

  • TMB Day 1: Les Houches to Les Contamines (6/28/2022) - We began our hike from our hotel, Chalet Hotel du Bois, which is in Les Houches, France, the traditional starting point for the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB). The weather forecast was for rain much of the day – ugh. The first part of the route wound through town.
  • TMB Day 2: Les Contamines to Refuge des Mottets (6/29/2022) - We knew today was going to be a tough one, because we were hiking some 18 miles (29 km) from Les Contamines to Refuge des Mottets. And not just any 18 miles, but some super steep miles, both uphill and downhill. After a great breakfast at Le Cristiania (croissants and pain du chocolat!), we hit the trail. It was shortly before 8 a.m.
  • TMB Day 3: Refuge des Mottets to Cabane du Combal (6/30/2022) - Today’s hike from Refuge des Mottets to Cabane du Combal was short, at about 7 miles (11.3 km). So we didn’t want to start out too early. But we had to be out of our rooms by 8 a.m., so we hung out in the dining hall and/or outside while we tried to dry the clothes we’d washed last night that were still wet.
  • TMB Day 4: Cabane du Combal to Courmayeur (7/1/2022) - Last night’s dinner at Cabane du Combal was good. It started with a simple pasta dish, followed by mashed potatoes and sausages. Interesting! Dessert was some kind of blueberry cake with whipped cream. Or maybe myrtilles, which is the type of berry they have here that’s almost identical to North American blueberries.
  • TMB Day 5: Courmayeur to La Fouly (7/2/2022) - Oh my goodness, today’s hike from Courmayeur to La Fouly was … insane! To back up a bit, when we'd planned our hike, we’d hoped to hike about 10-15 miles (16.1-24.1 km) a day. We knew the terrain was super hilly, so we'd need more time than normal. Plus, we wanted to enjoy the experience. But this is a popular hike, and the lodging that we needed wasn’t always available.
  • TMB Day 6: La Fouly to Champex-Lac (7/3/2022) - Today's hike from La Fouly to Champex-Lac was supposed to be easy. It was only about 10 miles (16.1 km), so less than half of yesterday's trek. Plus it's ranked the easiest stage in the TMB. It did live up to its billing, but it still was a challenge. The four of us slept in, then ate breakfast at 8:15, which is on the late side for this hike. We then went to the local grocery store to buy some provisions.
  • TMB Day 7: Champex-Lac to Trient (7/4/2022) - The weather forecast for today’s hike from Champex-Lac to our refugio in Trient was predicted to be a rainy one. Sure enough, it had rained all night and continued through our breakfast. But miraculously, by the time we set out to hike the rain had stopped.
  • TMB Day 8: Trient to Refuge La Flégère (7/5/2022) - Today’s trek to Le Flégère was pretty awful. And yet amazing. Such is the TMB! We got up pretty early in our refugio, as we wanted plenty of time for our hike. While we’ve had decent breakfasts at most places, this one was pretty skimpy, namely in that it lacked protein. Lots of breads and coffee, but little or no yogurt, meat, cheese, etc.
  • TMB Day 9: Refuge La Flégère to Les Houches (7/6/2022) - Oh, my – our last day's hike back to Les Houches was not at all what we thought it would be! So this guidebook that Bruce bought says this last stage should take about 6.5 hours, and that it features a lot of downhill. That turned out to be partly true. But let's go back to the beginning ...

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